Chapter 7:

The Fairylands

Full Moon! Through the Rings of Love

It was an hour into our trip. Zumi was studying over a book of what little info we had on the Fairylands, Charlie was looking in a mirror and fixing his pompous looking hair, and Luna was awestruck by all the foliage outside.

"Your world is so green!" Luna commented. "The ground is green with lush grass, your trees are green with needles, and even the rocks have green moss over them."

We saw these things everyday, so they were normal for us. But thinking about it, the moon must have been really gray and white on the surface. I suppose that meant there weren't many planets there.

"Do you have any plants on the moon?" I asked.

Luna nodded. "They're sparkly and very colorful. They sort of look like trees, but the leaves are crystals.

"Really?" Zumi put down her book. "I've heard the Lunar Imperium has some odd vegetation, but that's what trees up there are like?"

Luna nodded.

I was really interested to see what nature was like there. All the different plants and animals had my imagination going wild. The most exciting part was that nobodies ever really been up there, not even any magic artists. Wouldn’t it be great to paint the view? Assuming I had a canvas and some paint.

“If you had to describe nature there, how would you?” I asked.

“Shiny.” Luna smiled.

"What's civilization like there?" Zumi asked. Luna was just a snapshot of what to expect, especially since she was royalty. But I was curious about what society was like too.

"Well…" she folded her arms, putting a finger to her chin like she was in deep thought, "our people are well beyond the need to use magic with wands. It probably would be trouble if we did try to use one. We use our bodies to channel magic instead. So everyone can use it with ease."

Charlie had something to chime in. "Do people need to level up on the moon?"

Luna nodded. "Yes. There's still monsters there. I did not need to fight them though. My family uses a special potion to earn EXP."

That makes sense. Wouldn't want to put royalty in danger.


The carriage started to slow down. We were approaching the gates to the Fairylands.

There were monsters around us, trying to attack the dragon carriage, but the pygmy dragons in the front were able to scare them off.

"I do believe we are here, Master Charles." The servant said.

Zumi stuck her head out the window to examine the situation.

"There's a sign…" she slipped back into the carriage. "It says that we should beware of the Fairylands."

That meant we were right on the border.

We all stepped out of the carriage, approaching the sign with caution. There was a visible difference in the air behind the sign. It was all ripply, like the heat of the desert. It was cold though, and a bit humid.

"Here we go." I said, taking the head of the party.

"Good luck to you all." The servant waved as we walked off. "I'll remain here until you all return."

Having someone waiting up for us here was kinda nice, even if they were associated with Charlie.

We all stopped at the border of this magical place. I took a deep breath and made the first step forward.

Just passing by that threshold caused my body to shake. The magic in the air was suddenly very dense.

Everyone had a similar reaction to me. It took our breath away, so we waited a few moments to adjust to it.

“I feel like we're climbing a mountain…” Charlie breathed out. “What is this?” he turned to Zumi.

“The concentration of magic is so high that it's overwhelming our bodies.” She took a deep breath. “The best thing to do is channel it through our wands. That way it won’t collect inside of us.”

Everyone but Luna held out a wand. A basic skill was to simply light the wand up by passing magic power through it. Even I could manage that skill.

“Luna, are you going to be okay?” I asked, seeing her still struggling.

“I’m used to high density magic,” she nodded. “The moon is very much like this. I just need a moment to re-adjust.”

I guess dense magic atrophy was a thing. Or maybe it's a little more like being underwater and suddenly going to the shore again. Underwater pressure is so high compared to the surface.

Zumi pulled out a notebook and started to jot down everything we were going through. Her goal was to make a record of our experience here, since we would be the first explorers in history to take on this challenge fully.

Once Luna’s breath steadied, our group activated some monster repellent gas. The smell would keep away lots of different types of monsters, even bigger ones.

“What about Fae?” Charlie asked. “Those blasted little things can get oh so aggressive.”

“I came prepared with some fairy repellent too,” Zumi said.

She pulled out a short sword from her backpack.

“Zumi, you're not a fighter class,” I said. “Are you even proficient with swords?”

I know everyone is proficient with daggers and small weapons, but swords were usually for martial related classes. Us mage weren’t the physically strong type.

“I don’t need to be. Fae fear iron. This is an iron sword. Just holding it out will keep them away.”

We needed to be careful here about fairies. They're part of the reason people have a hard time exploring this place, since they have illusion magic that can fool you into doing some weird things.

Zumi tied some rope around all of our waists to keep us together. Charlie really didn't like it, but that was mostly because I was the front and he was the back end.

"I can't believe the Pre-mage is taking point…" he grumbled.

"Look at it like this…" Zumi started, "at least you get an end spot." She was behind Luna, who was behind me. "You're our tether in the back."

The importance seemed to give him courage. I'm not sure if it was because he had a soft spot for Zumi, or if it was because he wanted to feel special. Either way, Zumi had him on a leash.


“Roll Call.” I shouted.

“I am present.” Luna announced.

“Yeah.” Zumi said.

“Ugh.” Charlie grumbled.

We decided that every few minutes we’d do roll calls, just in case anything went wrong, or someone disappeared.

So far the terrain felt pretty normal, but we’d only been walking for about fifteen minutes. The temperature was dropping rapidly, so we all switched into some warmer clothing. If it got any colder, we’d probably be seeing snow.

The map says we’ll need to cross through the mountain pass to get to one of the distortions. It was a bit far away, probably at least a few hours of walking.

Right now we were in some rocky forest. The weirdest thing we’d seen is a bunch of floating lights off in the distance. I think those were wisps.

“Roll call.” I called out again.

“I am present.” Luna said.

Then there was silence.

I immediately turned back and noticed that there wasn’t anyone behind Luna anymore.

“Hey, where’d they go?”

Luna turned back to see they were gone too. “Oh no!” She cried. “They’ve vanished.”

I examined the rope. It didn’t appear to be cut, it just looked like the rope simply ended.

Was this some sort of strange illusion? I couldn’t be sure, so I grabbed Luna’s hand and held her close.

“What’s happening?” She asked.

“I don’t know, but don’t let your guard down.”

Mario Nakano 64
Taylor J
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